Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on the 27 January 1756 in Salzburg and was already measured a genius as a child. He was the son of Leopold Mozart, violin instructor, court composer and deputy music director at the court of the prince-archbishop of Salzburg, and Anna Maria, née Pertl.
He fashioned twenty-four operas including such famous works as “The Magic Flute”, “Don Giovanni”, and “The Marriage of Figaro”, 17 masses and over 50 symphonies. Mozart’s work, however, stretched to all styles and types of music. He knew how to merge traditional and contemporary elements to generate his own distinctive style, which is characterized by thematic and tonal variety, melded with a high degree of formal discipline. Mozart’s compositions are centered by their melodic, rhythmic, and dynamic contrasts. Following his break with the archbishop of Salzburg, Mozart moved to Vienna in 1781, where a year later he married singer Constanze Weber. In 1787, he was appointed court chamber composer. Mozart died in 1791 whilst occupied on his famed requiem.
MOZART’S FATHER PUSHED HIM INTO THE MUSIC BUSINESS.
Little Wolfgang and his older sister Maria Anna were taught to play the clavier (a stringed keyboard instrument) from a young age. Both children showed immense musical talent. By the time he was 4 years old, Mozart could learn a song on the clavier in just 30 minutes.
HE WROTE HIS FIRST OPERA AT THE RIPE OLD AGE OF ELEVEN
Mozart took in Paris, London, Amsterdam, Versailles, and more as he toured with his family. At one concert in Munich, Mozart and his sister played together for three straight hours, and they wowed audiences everywhere they went. While playing a series of concerts in Paris, Mozart published his first piece of music: a violin sonata in five parts. He was 8.
HE MOVED TO VIENNA IN 1781, AND THE GOOD TIMES STARTED TO ROLL.
In Vienna, the Age of Enlightenment was in full swing. Nights in the capital belonged to the wealthy, who joined the finest masked balls and operas. Starting off as a freelance musician with just one student, Mozart worked his way into the heart of Viennese social life, propelled by the popular appeal of his piano concertos and symphonies. One biographer noted that audiences for his piano concertos had the experience of “witnessing the transformation and perfection of a major musical genre.”
MOZART HAD A PET STARLING WHO COPIED HIS TUNES
Starlings are amazing mimics, and the one Mozart brought home from a Vienna pet shop on May 27, 1784 had been singing a movement from one of the composer’s pure, bright songs—the Piano Concerto No. 17 in G Major (K453).
To the American composer Leonard Bernstein, Mozart’s works were “bathed in a glitter that could have come only from the 18th century, from that age of light, lightness, and enlightenment … over it all hovers the greater spirit that is Mozart’s—the spirit of compassion, of universal love, even of suffering—a spirit that knows no age, that belongs to all ages.”